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Westbrook Worth A Look

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Westbrook Worth A Look

Some hack blogger threw this out into the mix yesterday on Twitter (OK, it was me) and some poor soul at ESPN, who I hope is still employed, picked it up and ran with it for their Insider's Rumor section.

A new idea came across the digital dashboard on Monday afternoon that could put Westbrook in the NFC North, but not Minnesota. Aaron Nagler of Green Bay Packers blog Cheesehead TV: "The longer Westbrook is on the market, the more likely [Packers GM Ted] Thompson is to bring him in for a look."

In Green Bay, Westbrook would obviously play behind starter Ryan Grant, but ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter still thinks Westbrook can help out in such a limited role

Now, before everyone twists this WAY out past what I intended it to be - this is pure, unfiltered speculation on my part. But if you look at Thompson's history in free agency, it makes some sense, the most obvious example being his bringing in Charles Woodson when no one in the league was interested. Thompson saw an undervalued asset and made his move.

Now, Woodson was signed before the draft, shortly after Favre made his little petulant remark about how the team needed to "make a statement" a la Reggie White in free agency. (And no, I don't think Favre's words begot the Woodson signing) With Westbrook, I wouldn't expect anything to happen, at least as far as the Packers are concerned, until after the draft. There's every possibility the Packers could wind up drafting a young, dynamic playmaker on the offensive side of the ball, making acquiring Westbrook unnecessary.

But if they don't, it makes a world of sense for the Packers to bring Westbrook in, kick the tires so to speak, and see if he would be a good fit. Yes - the concussion issue is a serious one and Westbrook reportedly suffered two last year. But if he is cleared medically and wants to play, you take a look. And let's be honest here, no one's talking about him taking snaps away from Ryan Grant - but on third down and for certain, special offensive packages, if the price is right - always the key when talking Thompson and free agency - I think a playmaker like Westbrook, who is already familiar with the West Coast Offense and just a hundred times more dynamic in the passing game than any back currently on the roster, makes an awful lot of sense. There's no harm whatsoever in bringing him into Green Bay for a visit and seeing if you can get a good player for relatively cheap.

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Fan friendly comments only: off Comments (26) This filter will hide comments which have ratio of 5 to 1 down-vote to up-vote.

NickGBP's picture

This is something Thompson would do for sure. I think the concussion issue makes it riskier than usual though, something Thompson doesn't like.

I wouldnt mind the signing.

polarbears815's picture

I agree. He'd at least be worth a look - am worried about the concussions though. Nevertheless, if TT waited after the draft, I'd be okay with that especially since Westbrook would be pretty cheap at that point. Still would like them to get a younger third-down kind of back like a Jahvid Best who could probably also be a returner. Then again, Best has a concussion history as well and he can't block that well so I really don't know. All depends on what TT does in the draft which I'll leave up to him.

alfredomartinez's picture

hed b worth a look, but then again, after the pittsburg game, brandon jackson really came big on his own...now in no way am i comparing him to westbrook...just saying (but deep inside i would love for the PACK to sign westrbrook, r u serious, the guy was the eagles offense!!!!)

cow42's picture

the o-line is brutal. i feel that the Pack is better off with a third down back who can block (jackson). they have enough pass catchers. someone's gotta stay back and help protect #12.
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until the line is solidified, a pass catching threat out of the backfield is a luxury and a risk.
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fix the line first........ please.
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i'm ok if they draft a shifty 3rd down guy because they could use him as a returner as well. but westbrook ain't gonna return any punts/kicks, is he?

Dilligafff's picture

I wish this was a discussion about the packers bringing in some veteran O-lineman.

packeraaron's picture

They did - they brought in Clifton and Tauscher. How much more "veteran" can you get?

bogmonb's picture

Aaron...touche.

WWR's picture

Westbrook could serve even solely as a returner and maybe sometimes in rare 3rd down occasions and i think that would be good

JerseyAl's picture

Troublemaker...

I say NO Way. You know he will have at least one other concussion during the season. Why spend money on damaged goods? That is NOT Ted's way. The Woodson signing was a completely different situation.

packeraaron's picture

How on Earth is Westbrook a troublemaker?
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And you are wrong about Woodson - he was very much considered damaged goods when the Packers signed him. Word around the league was that he was injury prone (he was coming off two injury plagued seasons) and that he was past his prime. Lucky for the Pack, that turned out to be untrue. As for the concussions, yes, it's a concern. But no one "knows" anything about what will happen to him next season. Everyone "knew" Rodgers wouldn't make it through 16 games, remember?
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Look, again, it's a cost effective move if he's on the market after the draft and willing to come in and entertain some kind of vet minimum salary w/incentives for production. And if it doesn't work out, there's always your boy Lumpkin to come in and save the day ;)

Satori's picture

I believe the "Troublemaker" comment was aimed at you Nagler, not Westbrook

The concussion issue is one that is tough to deal with because much of it is now out of your control . The current NFL head trauma rules may negatively impact his availability- one half of the Accountable/Available mantra that guides personnel decisions in Green Bay.

His availability issues also make it tough to put him on the final 53, foregoing another (ascending?) player for one who is not likely to finish the season. Teams on the cusp of a deep playoff run benefit greatly from this type of veteran presence so I understand the attraction.

And I don't foresee him lasting more than one season, so next offseason, GB is right back where they started - looking for a 3rd down WCO pass- catching RB who can block reliably.

If the draft does not produce a young candidate at RB, his appeal goes up for GB and others

JerseyAl's picture

yes, it was a joke...

JerseyAl's picture

How did you know I was just looking out for Lumpy?

But seriously, Woodson had missed half the season the year before, but he was fully recovered and wasn't damaged goods because of injury problems, more attitude and motivational, which he certainly dispelled. The guy just wanted to win and had to get out of Oakland.

But a guy who is concussion-prone, in today's NFL? I can't see any way Mr. Conservative (Ted Thompson) goes there...

Dilligaff's picture

You are correct when you say cheap. That is the key factor in all this, the dollar figure.

If TT wanted to go this way he would have pursued a healthy Chester Taylor with less miles for only 2 or 3 million more per year than Westbrook.

As far as health is concerned I think A. Green would be more productive and available for the whole season for the Pack than Westbrook and his injuries.

CSS's picture

LMAO @ the twitter reference related to a 'site I shall not name' soon to get Westbrook information from thier prized, anonymous scout. Ha!

UnkPoodi's picture

Last time we picked up a Philly free agent it turned out pretty good.

bogmonb's picture

indubitably!

bucky's picture

It truly is the silly season. Some of the comments here are nuts.

Brandon Jackson? If I could get Westbrook, Jackson would be on the breadline before noon. Watching Jackson try to catch a pass out of the backfield is more painful than a cheap tequila hangover.

Injury prone? As Aaron has pointed out, so was Woodson. That alone does not make Westbrook a good bet. But he's gotten concussions as an every down back. The Packers would be picking him up as a third down guy. I think the risk there is significantly reduced (nota bene: Haven't Jackson and Ahman Green been somewhat injury prone as well?).

The only thing I don't understand is why qwe'd wait to kick the tires until after the draft. You don't need to sit down with the manager yet, but wouldn't it make sense to kick the tires now, before the draft, so you have the information you need about Westbrook in making your selections?

PackersRS's picture

Isn't there a possibility of losing a compensatory pick if we were to sign a FA for a certain value?

packeraaron's picture

All depends on who is signed. The only 'loss' in FA so far is Aaron Kampman - you have to think he'll net something greater than the 5th rounder Colin Cole produced. If the Pack signed someone, the pick might turn into something lower, but I highly doubt they would lose the pick altogether.

PackersRS's picture

I'd read somewhere that teams might be reluctant to sign FAs before the draft for fear of losing compensatory picks. I imagined it'd be for this year, because I can't see any correlation...

crichar3's picture

Interesting thoughts, Aaron. I think this makes sense for GB but I would be surprised to see Ted move in this direction. He seems to, ahem, like the guys they have.

Oppy's picture

I'd be glad if the Pack did take a look- when Westbrook's name popped up a while back, I immediately thought his skill set could potentially help the packers. He's always been like an extra WR out of the backfield, and that's something we haven't had.

Aaron, any chance your credentialed trip to Indy (And consequent schmoozing) gave a few of the folks in the sports media enough confidence in you to run with your tweet? I'm guessing it couldn't have hurt.. "Who's this Aaron Nagler guy from CHTV?... 'Oh, yeah- ran into him at the combine. Runs a respectable site.. Let's go ahead and write it up!"

nerdmann's picture

I'd be more worried about his general injury history than his concussion history per se. Still, we need a guy who can catch, and preferably run after the catch, out of the backfield.
Does he still have some speed?

FITZCORE1252's picture

"IF" we don't address the need in the draft and BW can be had for a relatively cheap heavily incentive laden contract (like being available to play types of incentives) contract, WHY NOT?

Look, when the guy's healthy he's dynamic. Unfortunately he's rarely healthy. But, if the #'s make sense... worth a shot.

GBP 4 LIFE

nerdmann's laptop's picture

Yep. I think Gaither's a better prospect, though. AND a bigger need.

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